On Sunday 21 June 2020, Apostle Ndodomzi Nene conducted the Sunday morning divine service at Silvertown congregation. The divine service was conducted in Xhosa and translated into English at the altar.
He was accompanied by Priest Lubablo, a small music ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng and SABIE stereo. Members could also listen to the divine service by calling in from either a mobile phone or landline. This divine service was also streamed live on the NACTV Facebook page.
For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening Hymn: Through every land they journey (EH218)
Bible word: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Our Bible word today mentions our God, saying our God is faithful; that He has called and elected us - not in any other way. He hasn’t elected us and then called us. And this calling isn’t easy to understand. He has called us to Himself so that we can experience eternal life. That is why the Apostle Paul says He is faithful; every single promise He has made He has fulfilled. When we look at the time of the creation, God made a covenant with the people in the Garden of Eden that He will take them out of sin. He said: “I will remember you with a most precious blood.” And that happened because our Lord Jesus died for us; His promise was fulfilled, and this blood was shed for you and I so that we can be reconciled to God. The second thought is that God promised to Abraham that He will lead him; He will be with him and that happened. The third thought: God also promised to send His Son, and through His Son, He would send us His Holy Spirit. And we realise that during Pentecost that Spirit was poured out. A few days ago we were celebrating Pentecost, and that is a way that God revealed Himself that He is faithful, that no one can ever doubt Him. The Apostle Paul goes on to say that we were called to Him through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Dear brothers and sisters, God has called us into the fellowship with His Son so that we are able to help; so that we are able to receive a crown one day; so that we can experience eternal life. We are called into a fellowship with Jesus Christ. Such a fellowship involves coming to Him to praise Him, to receive word from Him, to pray to Him, so that our future can be prepared – we have been called so that we can come to Him. God calls us using many names. It reminds me of the words He once spoke in Isiah 43:1 where He speaks to Jacob where it reads: “I called you by name and said you are Mine.” In a similar way, we have been called by our names. God is aware of everything. Before we were even aware of anything, He called us into this fellowship so that we can be with Him.
Now a question comes forth when we are called do we heed the call? Do we come to Him? Do we approach Him so that we can do that which He instructs us to do? God called Samuel. He did not doubt. He went to the Priest. The Bible says he was called four times, but he didn’t grow tired – every time he went to the priest until he received advice that he should say: ‘speak Lord, Your servant is listening.’ In the same way, we have to answer this call and be like Samuel. God has called us into an eternal fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ descended into the world so that He could share our strife and suffering. And He was able to reveal Himself. People were unjustified. He died as a human; meaning that He knows pain and suffering. That is why He calls us to Himself so that we can sup with Him.
What is important is for us to heed the call. How do we do this? By letting go of everything that belongs to us, by coming closer to Him, by giving ourselves entirely to Him, by staying with Him and by working with Him. God has called us so that we can be able to perform good works. These good works do not need money or need you to have access to everything but just good works. Just to smile at someone, greeting someone, or simply attracting their attention – that is a good work that God has called us for so that we can preach His gospel – the gospel of Christ. We have to keep preaching this daily. We can read the word once, but preaching the gospel we do all the time – that is what God has called us for. He has even called us to help create oneness in His congregation; that we can have a contribution to that work. That is what God has called us for. Our God has called us for something very important. We haven’t called ourselves. He has called us through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been called so that we can contribute to the growing of His congregation.
That is the most important thing we are called for; God has called us – His calling is always true; it never changes. It was the same God yesterday, the same God today, and it will be the same God eternally. That is why we have to remain faithful – we have been called so that we can receive the Holy Baptism through water. All those who have been baptised, help along in the congregation. All those who are baptised, remain in the fellowship. All those who are baptised, they follow the Lord. That is what we are called for. Let us remain in the oneness. God has called us into a fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ, and this involves building His congregation, helping each other, oneness in the congregation. That is why today we have to do some introspection – how do I answer this call? Do I remain in one place? Am I stubborn? Or am I the one who shakes off everything when God calls? When God calls us, we have to come even closer to Him because our calling has something to attach to it; it has a reward attached to it; it has a crown attached to it and we will be with God forever. We have been called to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been called to remain in this fellowship. We have been called to build this great work. We have to examine ourselves and ask how I respond to this call when I hear it. Do I maybe choose among the things I want to hear? Many people choose what they want to hear when someone speaks. If you speak about work they won’t listen to you. But when you speak of food they will hear everything immediately. Dear child of God, what is important is that we heed the call because the One who calls us is trustworthy. And because He is so faithful He will reward us if we are faithful until the morn comes at the end. Our Lord is faithful!
It is important to know that even during this tough time we are called. I think of this time of the virus, yet another call is made through the radios, television and health officials. They keep begging us to be aware of all the instructions to help us. We know that we have to wash our hands. When you wash your hands you do not do that for anyone else – it is for your own good. We are instructed to wear masks. We are also encouraged to keep a safe distance. That is a calling that comes from the health officials. When we take that in a spiritual way, we are also called so that we can be safe, so that we can also avoid spreading our own ego and that shakes the congregation because that is a virus that disturbs the congregation of Christ – the one who spreads their ego. Secondly, we are warned that we don’t dwell on the old things because things of the past never allow you to grow. Let us rather focus on what’s coming. We are encouraged to keep a safe distance between one and the other. Even so, spiritually, we should keep a safe distance between ourselves and the evil one. When we approach Jesus Christ, He grants us righteousness. God has called us to receive the crown of eternal life.
To summarise this divine service, God has called us to have fellowship with Jesus Christ – that is the first thing and the most important; that we can have eternal fellowship with Him. He has also called us so that we can discard satan – the one who wants to take us away from our God so that we do not receive a reward. A third point: God wants us to contribute to the oneness in the congregation – and that is very important. And lastly, God wants us to spread the gospel by doing good. That dear brother and sister will put us in good stead and make us faithful because the fellowship of the faithful can never be removed from the fellowship of Christ. Amen.
Please pray the Lord’s prayer.
Thoughts from Apostle Ndodomzi T Nene